The Biden administration is breathing life into the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). It has announced that the IER will be launched anew, because it will “strengthen and grow our nation’s economy through increased capital spending, innovation, and job creation.”

Although there were stops and starts, the IER was never actually eliminated by the Trump administration. Instead, it was criticized and largely ignored.

The purpose of the IER is to improve the nation’s economy by making it possible for certain promising start-up founders and entrepreneurs to begin growing their companies in the United States. The IER amends the regulations on discretionary parole to do so.

A qualifying entrepreneur will be paroled into the United States for an initial 30-month period (with a possible extension) and will have work authorization incident to status. To be eligible, an applicant:

  • Must have a substantial (at least 10 percent) ownership interest in the start-up; and
  • Must have an active and central role in the operations and future growth.

The entity:

  • Must have been recently created (within five years of the application); and
  • Must prove that it has significant investment from qualified and established U.S. investors (at least $250,000) or the receipt of significant awards or grants from federal, state, or local governments (at least $100,000).

USCIS is ready for applications and the administration is planning a public relations campaign, including information sessions and outreach activities, to publicize the IER opportunity. The regulations can be found at 8 CFR 212.19 and the Application for Entrepreneur Parole form is on the USCIS website.

More than 50 percent of start-ups in the United States with a $1 billion valuation were founded by at least one immigrant. The United States is a popular destination for start-up founders, but many other countries (including Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Israel, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand) are competing to entice entrepreneurs to their shores. Other countries have sought to take advantage of the Trump administration’s criticisms of the IER and less hospitable approach to legal, employment-related immigration. Reaffirming the IER is an important step to the United States meeting the competition.

If you have any questions about the IER, Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist you in strategizing and submitting applications.

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.